San Jose

San Jose Province. Costa Rica.

Inspiration

“Pura Vida” – To Eatch Their Own

We have been working out way down Central America for years, and Costa Rica was one of the last places on our list. What started out as a “check it off the list and move on” trip, ended up being one of the best trips we have been on and completely changed our outlook on travel. For that, we will always have a special place in our hearts for Costa Rica.

Why we picked It

To be honest, this was the least of our top places to visit in Central America. Why? Because all we could think about was huge resorts, zip lining and middle-aged American tourists. We need to also mention that we needed to visit this little country to mark it off of our list of Central American countries left to visit. We decided we wanted to do Costa Rica in an entirely different way. After some research, it was decided that we were going to roadtrip this place and live out of the back of a pick-up truck. Yes, this would fit the “ToEatchTheirOwn” style of travelling, as we always try to find more unique travel experiences. Going and sitting in a resort for a week is really not our idea of a great time and you definitely do not get to immerse yourself in the culture. So with the truck booked and no real direction of any sort, we booked our flights into Liberia (LIR). See our link below for details about our experience overlanding in Costa Rica.

What We Loved

Costa Rica was never a question for us, we have wanted to visit for years. That being said, we also did not want to have the same Costa Rican experience that all of our friends and family have had. That is why overlanding just made sense to us. We loved the freedom of it all; every day and every night was a different experience. There is no feeling like waking up in the morning on a beautiful beach, at the base of a volcano or high in the jungle. We loved everything about our experience, and Costa Rica was the perfect country for it. Central Americans are some of our favorite people in the world, and the Costa Rican people were definitely no exception. The friendliness and hospitality is something that we can’t even explain. The one thing we always say about our experience in Costa Rica is that luck was on our side from start to finish, but some of the “luck” we had was really just Costa Ricans being true to their “Pura Vida” lifestyle. Whether we were lost in the jungle at night or just having a beer at a beach bar, things just worked out for us. A young man saw us stopped in the jungle and offered us a spot to camp and the owner of the bar offered to let us stay on the beach at his place; it was just perfect. What did we love about Costa Rica? Everything. We have had some amazing adventures and been to some awesome places, but Costa Rica changed us. It made us look at traveling differently and gave us some really exciting ideas for our future. We definitely had some stressful moments on this trip, along with some downright terrifying ones, but we came home from Costa Rica completely relaxed and we absolutely can’t wait to get back and explore the rest of this amazing country.

San Jose Travel Tips

Here are a few tips to make your trip to San Jose less stressful:

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Airport Codes

LIR for Liberia for arrivals in the north.
SJO for San Jose, which is the capital.
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Bugs!!

Yes of course they are there but we have never seen anything like these creatures! Fireflies in the mountain regions are unreal! We also found bioluminescence spiders, beetles, and caterpillars. The whole place looks like it is glowing at night! Melanie was really not affected by anything in particular (Melanie is our bad bug meter, she swells with the littlest of bites) but like always we were protected by Sawyer, we do not leave home without it!
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The currency: Colón

CRC is the currency and unlike other central countries finding ATM’s was not a problem and everyone took both CRC and US currency.
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Transportation

Transportation was provided by Nomad America and they were terrific! We absolutely cannot recommend them enough! Whether you are flying into Liberia (LIR) or San Jose (SJO), most of the resorts or hotels will provide transportation. You can look into car rental but make sure you book with your credit card as most cards have auto insurance on them. Also make sure you print out the insurance program of your card, the rental companies need to see it. Now if you are not comfortable just hopping in a car and going it alone, we also looked into Costa Rica 4X4 Experience. Although we do not have any experience with them personally, they provide a fully guided overlander experience.
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Give Back

This was one of the most exciting give backs we have done to date! Using the iOverlander app we decided to stay the night in the small town of Ostional. Not really settling on one specific camp spot when we arrived we were greeted by a small man named Gilbert who offered us a beautiful spot in his front yard right on the beach for 6000 colon. Gilbert is the founder of a conservation program for sea turtles and Ostional is probably one of the top spots in the world for turtle watching. He has made the entire town conscious about turtle conservation and it’s fantastic. We were not at the peak of turtle season, which is from August to November, but Gilbert showed us pictures of thousands of them on the beach during the season. He offered to take us out early in the morning to dig up baby turtles that had been left behind and could not dig themselves out naturally. This was an incredible, once in a lifetime experience that is truly hard to put into words. There is nothing quite like knowing that in even the smallest way, you are contributing to the health and conservation of these tiny animals is an amazing feeling.

More Costa Rica…

Turtles

Turtles

This was one of the most exciting give backs we have done to date! Using the iOverlander app we decided to stay the night in the small town of Ostional. Not really settling on one specific camp spot when we arrived we were greeted by a small man named Gilbert who...

read more
iOverlander

iOverlander

This is the go to app if you decide to do some overlanding, but it is also a great to get some killer tips about good eats, hostels, camping or just general hidden gems. There wasn’t one spot that we came to that wasn’t more than accommodating; we even had one farmer...

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Nomad America

Nomad America

Being from Utah, we have tons of experience with off-roading.  Whether it be in the mountains or the desert, we’ve done it all.  However, it has always been a dream of ours to take an outfit that was specifically built for off-road use, much in the fashion of the...

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